Finding the Lubuntu 10.04 torrent

I’ve been meaning to try out Lubuntu for quite some time, but was thwarted by the lack of a torrent. If you didn’t know, Lubuntu is an Ubuntu variant using the lightweight LXDE desktop environment, like Kubuntu uses KDE or Xubuntu uses XFCE. It hasn’t been officially approved as a part of the Ubuntu family yet, but judging from the favourable reviews it has been getting, that day might not be far away. Lubuntu is supposed to be much lighter than Xubuntu, which I’m currently using and seems like it is all that.

Anyway, the official Lubuntu.net page doesn’t show a torrent or metalink download option. Search for a torrent serves up the Lubuntu beta2 torrent or custom Lubuntu distributions created by enthuciasts. I finally got the official torrent from the mailing list archive.

Without further ado, here’s the torrent downlad link :

http://people.ubuntu.com/~gilir/lubuntu-10.04.iso.torrent

Hope this saves you a little frustration.

Storing and reusing Ubuntu updates

Suppose you have two computers running the same version of Ubuntu and you have downloaded and installed the updates on one of the computers. Since you are having a rather expensive or maybe, a limited internet connection, you do not wish to download the updates again for the other computer.

Updates downloaded by aptitude are stored in the directory /var/cache/apt/archives. You’ll find the package files in .deb format(Debian software package format). If these updates are copied to the same directory on the other computer, aptitude will automatically recognise those files and use them as necessary while updating. You can copy the files using a flash drive or write them to a CD if you wish to.
You can copy the packages using this command :
[bash]sudo cp /var/cache/apt/archives/* /path/to/flash/drive[/bash]

Now connect the flash drive to the other computer and copy the files to the /var/cache/apt/archives/ directory there.
After this, you need to update your package information and install the updates found.
Run :
[bash]sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade[/bash]

All the required updates will be installed from the /var/cache/apt/archives/ directory(if available). You can also install new packages, and they will not be downloaded if they are available locally.

Mounting ext4 partitions in Debian Lenny

As of Debian 5.04 (Lenny), Debian doesn’t support mounting ext4 partitions out of the box, or rather, we should say, using conventional methods.

Trying to mount an ext4 partition using the mount directive yields the error :

mount: unknown filesystem type 'ext4'

The roundabout way of doing it is setting a test_fs flag on the partition using the tune2fs utility.

su -
tune2fs -E test_fs /dev/hda1
mount -t ext4dev /dev/hda1 /place/to/mount/

Replace hda1 with the name of the ext4 partition you want to mount.

I’ve had some (Pulse)Audio problems

Like many others, my speakers stopped working after I upgraded to Lucid Lynx. The usual solution of purging, reinstalling PulseAudio didn’t work for me, nor was my volume muted.

I finally got it working by removing PulseAudio and not installing it afterwards. AlsaMixer works just fine for me. However, I some times get the feeling that the sound quality might have deteriorated a bit, but it might just be me worrying too much.

This post is for those with a similar problem. If the usual solutions don’t work for you, try removing PulseAudio. That just may be it.

How to download a file concurrently/simultaneously from different sources in Ubuntu

In order to achieve this, you need to download an install Aria2, a lightweight, multi-source download utility. It can be installed from it’s package ‘aria2’ from the universe repositories.

[code language=”bash”]sudo apt-get install aria2[/code]

Now we need to create a file containing the source URLs for the file(s) we need to download. The source/mirror URLs should be separated by a tab or newline. The mirrors can also be used directly as a command line argument, but that would just make things clumsy.

I’m using Lucid Netbook Edition as an example here. My sources.txt contains the following :

http://mirror.uoregon.edu/ubuntu-releases/lucid/ubuntu-10.04-netbook-i386.iso     http://mirrors.us.kernel.org/ubuntu-releases/lucid/ubuntu-10.04-netbook-i386.iso     http://ubuntu.mirrors.hoobly.com/lucid/ubuntu-10.04-netbook-i386.iso     http://mirrors.pavlovmedia.net/ubuntu-releases/lucid/ubuntu-10.04-netbook-i386.iso     ftp://mirror.vcu.edu//pub/gnu+linux/ubuntu-releases/lucid/ubuntu-10.04-netbook-i386.iso     ftp://ftp.gtlib.gatech.edu/pub/ubuntu-releases/lucid/ubuntu-10.04-netbook-i386.iso     http://ftp.chg.ru/pub/Linux/ubuntu/releases/lucid/ubuntu-10.04-netbook-i386.iso     http://mirror.yandex.ru/ubuntu-releases/lucid/ubuntu-10.04-netbook-i386.iso     http://ubuntu.mirror.ac.za/ubuntu-release/lucid/ubuntu-10.04-netbook-i386.iso     http://ubuntu.hugi.is/releases/lucid/ubuntu-10.04-netbook-i386.iso     http://mz.releases.ubuntu.com/lucid/ubuntu-10.04-netbook-i386.iso     http://releases.ubuntu.nautile.nc/lucid/ubuntu-10.04-netbook-i386.iso


Now we need to start the download using Aria2. Type this in the terminal.

[code language=”bash”]aria2c -i /path/to/sources.txt -s 12[/code]

The -i argument specifies the input file and -s argument specifies how many connections will be used to simultaneously download the file. Here, we have 12 mirrors for the .iso file, so I used 12 in the argument. According to the aria2c man page, if the value specified in the -s argument (say, N) is less than the number of mirror URLs, the first N URLs will be used and the rest will be used as backup. Otherwise, if the number of mirrors is less, a single source is used more then once, so that N connections can be made.

Aria2 is a wonderful download utility that support Metalinks and BitTorrent other than the usual http, ftp. It can be used to do a whole range of things, but we will keep ourselves limited to the topic at hand. Maybe we will try out those possibilities in an other post.